Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will
October 8th, 2013
09:10 AM ET
6 months ago

Votes are there to break shutdown, but not the will

Updated 10/9/2013 at 8:00 a.m.

Washington (CNN) – There appeared to be enough votes in the House on Wednesday to approve legislation to reopen the federal government, according to an ongoing CNN survey of House members.

CNN's vote count

All 200 Democrats and 19 Republicans support passing a continuing resolution with no additional legislative strings attached that would reopen the federal government, which has been partially closed for a week over a bitter policy dispute between Republicans and Democrats on health care. With three vacancies in 435 member House, 217 votes are currently the minimum needed for the measure to win approval in the House.

CNN's vote count appears to bear out what President Barack Obama said on Monday.

"The truth of the matter is, there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in the House of Representatives right now to end this shutdown immediately with no partisan strings attached," Obama said.

But this does not mean a vote will happen any time soon, given that these Republicans have not indicated a willingness to try to force Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to bring a continuing resolution with no strings attached to the floor for a vote. After a meeting with Republicans on Tuesday, Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma told CNN that the speaker told members there would not be a House vote on a "clean" government funding bill.

The clean CR is at the center of the dispute between Obama and Republicans, the latter trying to use the government shutdown as a legislative avenue to help defund the president's health care law. Many House Republicans are demanding that passage of a continuing resolution is contingent on the health care law being delayed – the first step in an effort they hope to use to dismantle it. The president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, have said that the GOP's efforts are a non-starter.

As is the case with all vote counts, the numbers continually evolve and change by the hour and day.

Still, Boehner has maintained that there are not enough votes in the House to pass a "clean" CR.

"There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR," the speaker said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "The American people expect in Washington, when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation. I told my members the other day, there may be a back room somewhere, but there's nobody in it."

Republican Rep. Charles Dent of Pennsylvania disagreed with the speaker's assessment. He told CNN on Monday that if the vote were to come to the floor, he believes it would pass.

"I believe a clean CR would pass comfortably," said Dent. "I'm not here to predict the number, I think it would clear the 217 vote barrier."

In response, Obama dared Boehner on Monday to prove that he doesn't have the votes for a clean continuing resolution.

"If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there are not enough votes then they should prove it," Obama said. "Let the bill go to the floor, and let's see what happens. Just vote."

On Monday, as Democrats trumpeted other vote counts that appeared to show there are enough votes in the House to pass a clean government funding bill, a number of lawmakers began to walk back previous statements.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California was one of those lawmakers. After telling Huffington Post and others that he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached, his spokesman said Monday that "that was never the case."

"He does not support a clean CR, does not support it, does not advocate it," said Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes.

Republicans Leonard Lance of New Jersey and Randy Forbes of Virginia, who other news outlets report have supported a clean government funding bill, told CNN on Monday that they did not back the measure.

"Reports that Randy Forbes supports a 'clean' CR are not true," a Forbes said. "This was misrepresented in a story by the Virginian Pilot (newspaper), which subsequently was picked up by HuffPo and other national outlets – none of which bothered to contact our office to verify."

Instead, Forbes has introduced legislation that would fund all of the government except Obamcare, the aide said.

Not all Republicans moved away from voting for a government funding bill with no strings attached.

Late on Monday, Republican Rep. David Reichert of Washington said he would "continue to vote for any legislation that keeps the federal government open."

Likewise on Tuesday, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado announced he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached in a Denver Post opinion-editorial and Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina said he wished the House "would pass a clean CR" during an interview with MSNBC.

Other Republican members, like Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, would not confirm a report from the Miami Herald that said the lawmaker would support a clean resolution.

"The president needs to sit down and negotiate with the speaker," Cesar Gonzalez, a spokesman for Diaz-Balart, said. "In the meantime, the congressman does not think it is wise to negotiate through the press."

The 19 Republicans who support a government funding bill with no strings attached are:

Walter B. Jones, R-North Carolina: Said during an interview with MSNBC that he wished the House "would pass a clean CR."

Mike Coffman, R-Colorado: Announced he supported a government funding bill with no strings attached in a Denver Post opinion-editorial.

Tim Griffin, R-Arkansas: "Tweeted the he would support a clean government funding bill."

Bill Young, R-Florida: A spokesman tells CNN that Young would support a clean government funding bill.

Dennis Ross, R-Florida: A spokeswoman told CNN Ross would support a one-year government funding bill at sequestration levels with no strings attached.

Mike Simpson, R-Idaho: Statement: "Similar to Sen. Rand Paul, I could support a very short-term clean CR, perhaps one or two weeks, while we continue to negotiate on a longer-term bill."

Frank LoBiondo, R-New Jersey: LoBiondo penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Jon Runyan, R- New Jersey: Runyan penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Pete King, R-New York: Told CNN he supports passing a clean government funding bill.

Michael Grimm, R-New York: Grimm told CNN he would support a clean government funding bill.

Jim Gerlach, R-Penn.: A spokesman told CNN that Gerlach would support a clean government funding bill if it came to the floor.

Pat Meehan, R-Penn.: Statement on October 1: "I believe it’s time for the House to vote for a clean, short-term funding bill."

Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Penn.: Fitzpatrick penned an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said he supported a clean government funding bill.

Lou Barletta, R-Penn.: A spokesman told CNN that Barletta would vote yes if a clean government funding bill came to the floor. On Tuesday morning, the spokesman said while Barletta is now focused on passing a compromise that includes repealing of the medical device tax, it is fair to include him as a yes vote for a funding bill with no strings attached.

Charles Dent, R-Penn.: Told CNN he supports a clean government funding bill. "I think now it's imperative that we just fund the government," he said.

Robert Wittman, R-Virgina: A spokeswoman tell CNN Wittman would vote yes on a clean government funding bill.

Scott Rigell, R-Virginia: Told CNN on October 1 that he supported passing a clean government funding bill.

Frank Wolf, R-Virginia: A spokesman tells CNN that Wolf will support a clean government funding bill.

David Reichert, R-Washington: October 7 statement: "I will continue to vote for any legislation that keeps the federal government open."

– CNN's Laura Koran and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: Government Shutdown
soundoff (982 Responses)
  1. Lori

    Call a vote and see if DEMS all vote. In favor. Do it today. GOP – give me a break.

    BOTH parties have kept this government locked down. BOTH of them.

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Joe Cleveland Guy

    Governmnet taxes too much, borrows too much, spends too much and kisses to many lobbists asses.......little old working class private sector guy is getting screwed and some of his representatives are standing up for him (ie: Tea Party). Stop the Federal Centralist at any cost and then we can deal with big money influences to the process.

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. JAustin

    The POTUS is willing to talk about policies and stuff but only after Congress has raised the debt limit and got the Gov running again. After that is done what reason would the POTUS have to waver at all on any issue?

    Also if Congress is in charge of paying the bills and raising the debt limit then they are doing what they are supposed to do. From what I am seeing from most is that these things are not negotiable and have to be done by law automatically. If that is the case then why are they in charge of it at all.... if that is the case then there should just be no limit at all and no need to pass any appropriations bills. Just let them run wild right?

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. comen

    Resolve what? Out of control spending? Not. Short sighted Americans lead by JackA's – nothing new... No changes in the White House. No changes in DC. Obama = Bush.

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    John

    I simply don't believe CNN's reporting on this.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In other words, it doesn't fit my narrow ideolgy, so it must be a lie.

    October 8, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Ed

    Throw out the entire congress and replace them with cats.

    October 8, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Joe

    In my country (Nigeria), we will impeach the speaker, elect and new one and bravo the bill is passed.

    October 8, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. DaveC

    When will there finally be some Leadership in this country. Both Democrats and Republicans are voted in by the public and are supposed to be working for the public. Instead of taking the reins and guiding this country into prosperity, the government representatives sit and bicker like small children about their own personal agenda's with no apparent regard for what this country needs to get us back on track with the rest of the world. We used to be a world power, yet the world are watching a disfunctional, apparently misguided governmental body who apprarently are unable to discuss and negotiate an amicable deal to balance a budget. I only hope for the day that someone less misguided than our current legistative body is able to enact some real Leadership and put this country back on the map where it used to be and learns how to essentially balance a check book.

    October 8, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Malory Archer

    abnguy

    @ Dana, there is a provision in the Constitution that would allow what you are talking about. It is the Second Amendment liberals are always attacking.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And there it is……

    October 8, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Steve

    The flaw in the logic for the Republican strategy is now water under the bridge – unfortunately. When they had the opportunity to participate and contribute to the development of the ACA they chose, instead, to completely discount it and did everything possible to derail it. Now that it is law, the benefits are becoming obvious and many of the dooms-day scenarios painted by the Republicans are simply not demonstrating. They have missed the window of being participants in the creation of what they realize will become popular legislation. This is all very unfortunate because the ACA would be significantly better legislation if it had Republican input.

    As every day passes and people like me see reduced premiums and better choices there just won't be support for repeal or defunding – only improvement of the legislation. Hopefully we will eventually see moderate Republicans contributing to this success.

    October 8, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. Madmax

    Vote all members of congress out next time they run for office.

    October 8, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. comen

    Resolve what? Out of control spending? Not. Short sighted Americans led by weak idiots – nothing new... No changes in the White House. No changes in DC. Obama = Bush.

    October 8, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Kevin

    How is 1 man (Boehner) able to block the democratic process, and hold the entire government hostage? I thought there was check and balances against this sort of thing?

    October 8, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Erik

    The reason Boehner won't schedule a vote is because he thinks anything that passes should have a majority off the majority - Republicans. Thus, a small faction of the US House of Representatives - about 25% - gets to dictate to the rest of the country and shut down the government. It's wrong and he should schedule a vote.

    October 8, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Patriot

    I wonder when the GOP's insanity will become a true and unquestioned threat to National Security? When we hit this milestone, probably in the next few weeks over the debt ceiling, I wonder if the President could legitimately have the Tea Party obstructionest Congessmen arrested? Things have gotten so out of control, and the American ideals of fair play and governing have been so twisted, that anything is possible.

    October 8, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. PA86

    Americans to Boehner: Let's vote and quit talking. You already got what you wanted in the CR and then you decided to yank the football away . . .

    October 8, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. David

    The American electoral system is set up to favor the wealthy in their goal to buy elections.

    This Supreme Court will uphold that tradition 5 to 4, much to the detriment of our "democracy", which is in fact an oligarchy.

    Your real representatives are people like the Koch brothers. And they are interested in keeping you in your place and themselves in their place- over you.

    October 8, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. Karl

    Problem is two of those yes votes only said "short term" spending bill with no string attached... one or two weeks max, which is not the Spending bill that the Senate has passed and the Speaker says does not have the votes. And another of those Senators calle into the Glenn Beck program to clarify his remarks and said he would not vote for a Clean CR now, and that his remarks were taken from a comment he made prior to the shutdown. We need to stop talking about compromise as Republicans bending over and taking it, and ask why Democrats are refusing to negotiate on something the majority of Americans see as reasonable... A temporary delay of the individual mandate similar to the blanket delay that the President granted to Big Business.

    October 8, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. J-Man

    As long as Barry and Harry refuse to negotiate there doesn't need to be a vote. We are in the 2nd week of the shut-down and I haven't noticed. Barry is trying to make is as hard as he can on Americans by shutting services like parks and open air monuments. Today I heard that the relatives of servicemen killed in combat aren't getting the death benefits because of the shut-down. Barry's government saw fit to give PBS $450 million the first day of the shut down. America needs to wake up! Barry is holding this country hostage. He is an ego maniac and should have never been president.

    October 8, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Great Snowman

    CNN will always take the liberal slant on any story. What about the Democrats vow to never negotiate with Republicans? The Obama administration has deliberately chosen to make the shutdown as painful as possible to Americans. Closing veterans memorials and even scenic views, of all the dumbest things. There is plenty of blame to go around in this mess, pinning it on Republicans alone is not what I consider journalism.

    October 8, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. artamer

    How does one go about impeaching the Speaker of the House?

    October 8, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Don

    We need to pay our bills. We need to limit overspending and being overtaxed. We need good credit. We need to spend less than we are taking in. We need good politicians. We need good government. We need not to be held hostage by corporate (private shareholders), PAC, and individuals interests. WE THE PEOPLE, deserve and need better. We need a democratically elected republic to function and act like one. We need to show the world our "experiment" that started in the 1770s is going to work and not fail.

    October 8, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. Political Slice

    ReSenator Harry Reid goes on the floor of the Senate and says that the Government Shutdown could end today if the House would simply pass a "clean" Continuing Resolution (CR). However the Government Shutdown could end today if the Senate would simply pass the House proposed Continuing Resolution, which they will not because it delays the individual mandate for a year. That is unacceptable to President Obama, who had no problem delaying the requirement in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that requires employers to provide health care to their employees for a year. Senator Reid criticizes Rep Boehner for not allowing a vote on a “clean” CR, but the Senate has had the bill for protecting federal employees for three days and has not called the vote on that either. Neither party nor leader is guiltless or even less guilty than the other. We need to quit the games and allow the government to get back to doing business.

    October 8, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. AmericanWoman

    The Republicans choose to hold the American people hostage instead of passing a budget that's responsible with NO option for raising our debt ceiling (why keep spending what we don't have) so that our govt can move forward. Then they can focus on a better health proposal to sell the American public instead of slamming the breaks on our entire system affecting millions of Americans in the process. What's the logic of this? Make a point by affecting the very people they so claim to care for?

    October 8, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. aspam99

    Just put it to a vote.......Yeah right and all the sheep will follow Ms Plastic-face and do the same as they did for the whole problem, the ACA. Democrats need to accept that in a democracy there can be dissent and that they need to negotiate for the ills of the ACA and get on with it! Republicans dont have to throw the whole thing out, just a few of the onerous provisions.
    What kind of leader says "I wont negotiate" "My way or the Highway" .......the kinda leader that just displaced JC as the worst president .....EVER!

    October 8, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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